Name: 1949 Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster
Year Produced: 1949
Number Built: 1 of 51
Class: Luxury Car
Body Type: 2-door coupe
Engine: Inline 6
Power: 165 hp
Top Speed: 70 mph
Transmission: 4-speed electro-mechanically actuated Cotal Preselector gearbo
Wheelbase: 116 in.
Original Price: (?)
Auctioned Price: US$3.3 million
What could be the most visually dramatic (i.e. eye candy) of all supercars is the 1949 Delahaye Type 175 S, 2-seat roadster. Built by the renowned French coachbuilding firm Saoutchik during the post-war era, this Delahaye has an extreme body which borrowed styling cues from other earlier designs. Combining the French curves of the thirties with more modern baroque ornamentation, Saoutchik conveys a sense of drama and movement with this one of a kind design. With completely enclosed wheels, the car’s best angle is its profile as the front has a rather confusing mix of elements that look like they came from different sources. The heavy use of chrome in the Delahaye’s admirable details and accents was also revolutionary. Such maverick design led to an emerging trend among American manufacturers of the time.
But perhaps the most important piece of history that this Delahaye brings with is the fact that it once belonged to iconic English movie star Diana Dors. Considered as the British counterpart of Marilyn Monroe in the US, Dors managed to buy this lovely Delahaye at age of 17, even without a license yet. At age 20, she became the youngest registered owner of a Rolls-Royce in the UK. During Dor’s ownership of the Delahaye, it received several recognitions bagging top honors at the Grand Castle du Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the Monte Carlo Concours and Coup de l’Automobile in San Remo.
Dubbed as the most extravagant of all the vehicles during the post-war period, Delahaye stopped its production by 1951 due to little demand. This Delahaye is said to be so rare that there were only 51 bodies manufactured for this particular Roadster model. Embarking in a restoration project beginning 2000 until its completion in 2007, the Delahaye undoubtedly was a head turner. Confirming its winning elegance, it won the People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance. It was sold in an auction by RM Sotheby for an astonishing US$3.3 million dollars.
Watch this video tribute to this classic together with Miss Doris and tell us what you make of it.